Mediation briefs are due at least three days before the mediation date. Counsel are encouraged to exchange briefs; any confidential information may be submitted to the mediator separately. Briefs should be submitted via email to Briefs@judicatewest.com or voluminous briefs must be mailed or delivered by messenger; contact Heather for address. Counsel is encouraged to call Ms. Deck for a pre-mediation conference prior to the mediation.
Such briefs should include:
- Concise statement of the facts
- Review of contentions and law
- Description of settlement posture
- Analysis or breakdown of damages
- Any previous settlement negotiations
Any other information counsel deems relevant to the facilitation of a settlement, including party dynamics, underlying issues, and whether a joint session would be constructive.
At the Mediation - Procedures:
Everyone whose decision is necessary for settlement should personally attend the mediation. This may include plaintiffs, family members or representatives of plaintiffs, insurance representatives, and defendants who are uninsured, underinsured, or are being defended under a reservation of rights. If it is not feasible to have all decision makers present or available by phone, please notify Ms. Deck in advance so that she can work with all parties to determine how to proceed.
All discussion at a mediation is strictly confidential. It can never be referred to in court or arbitration. See Evidence Code 1115 - 1128. By signing a written Agreement for Mediation at the mediation, it is agreed that no privilege can be waived by disclosure in mediation.
A less adversarial tone than seen in court or deposition is helpful in mediation. Attorneys and parties are asked to maintain a respectful, courteous demeanor during mediation. Highly, adversarial comments can interfere with the process, by causing positions to solidify before reason negotiation begins. The opportunity for settlement is maximized by making it easier for others to recognize the wisdom of compromise.
When settlement is achieved, the terms will be memorialized. It is essential to make a written record of the settlement terms. Ms. Deck will facilitate the execution of a stipulation for settlement or a long-form Settlement AgreementRelease, to be signed before the parties leave the mediation.